Concerns over town’s history

A COUNCILLOR fears the town’s history is being ‘whittled away’.

Councillor Peter Finch said not enough was being done by Hastings Borough Council to promote the mayoral role and Hastings as one of the main Cinque Ports.

He made the remarks at a cabinet meeting on Monday, April 4, when fellow councillors were discussing the adoption of the authority’s cultural regeneration strategy, designed to use art and culture to boost the town’s economy.

Cllr Finch said: “The mayoralty and Cinque Ports heritage is tremendously important to the cultural history of Hastings. But we don’t really highlight this.

“A small aspect of our town, including some councillors respect the role of the mayor by wearing ceremonial robes. But I feel our history is being whittled away.”

His views were echoed by Tory leader Cllr Peter Pragnell, who said there was much more to the town’s heritage other than the Old Town and the upcoming Jerwood Gallery.

Deputy council leader Jay Kramer said: “No member of the public has ever challenged me on not wearing ceremonial robes.

“What people want is for me to work hard and engage with them appropriately to their needs,” she added.

She reminded her fellow councillors that the authority was committed to the restoration of Hastings Pier following last October’s devastating fire.

Cllr Kramer added: “It is so important because so many generations have used the pier.

“Hastings Castle is also important to the town’s heritage,” he added.

She said the council had applied in December for a £1.5million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help spruce up the attraction and draw in more visitors.

Cllr Peter Chowney said: “We are hoping to apply for Hastings Castle to become a World Heritage site, so this shows that this strategy we are adopting recognises the importance of our heritage, which goes back to 1066, a date we are famous for.”